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Part IV Normative Development, Ch.24 Multilateral Environmental Treaty Making

Daniel Bodansky

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Lavanya Rajamani, Jacqueline Peel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 28 November 2021

Subject(s):
International co-operation — International environmental law — Treaty-making capacity of international organizations — Treaty provisions

This chapter reflects on multilateral environmental treaty making. From its inception, international environmental law has consisted primarily of treaties and other forms of negotiated instruments, which offer several advantages over more informal mechanisms of international cooperation. Traditionally, treaties were comparatively static arrangements, memorializing the rights and duties of the parties as agreed at a particular point in time. Today, environmental agreements are usually dynamic arrangements, establishing ongoing regulatory processes. The result is that, in most environmental regimes, the treaty text itself represents just the tip of the normative iceberg. Most norms are adopted through more flexible techniques, which allow international environmental law to respond quickly to the emergence of new problems and new knowledge. The chapter then introduces the basic types of international instruments, analysing why states negotiate and accept them. It describes the process by which agreements are created, from the inception of negotiations to the adoption and entry into force of the resulting instrument. The chapter also explores various design issues in developing international environmental agreements.

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